Capsid Engineering Lead

Spark Therapeutics
San Francisco, California
Salary not provided
Closing date
Jun 15, 2023

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The Capsid Engineering Lead will manage the development and execution of AAV Capsid Engineering programs within the Discovery Research group under Research & Technology. He/she/them will be responsible for:

  • Operational management and strategic planning of AAV capsid library design for directed AAV evolution of AAV variants with improved properties.
  • Innovative leadership in the design of novel AAV selection campaigns leading to proof-of-technical principle for organ and/or cell-type specific AAV variants in both small and large animals.
  • Active engagement in the NGS analysis of AAV libraries and derivatives.
  • Providing leadership/oversight of a group of scientists, research associates and postdoctoral fellows.
  • Initiating and actively supervising joint programs with external collaborators.
  • Establishing and facilitating project timelines and ensuring that the work is completed accurately and efficiently.
  • Training and development of staff at varying levels of experience.
  • Writing and reviewing documents to support regulatory filings, manuscripts, and presenting results at appropriate scientific meetings.

The Capsid Engineering Lead position requires extensive experience with capsid/protein bioengineering, NGS-based library screening and analysis, ideally in the field of AAV gene transfer

  • In-depth familiarity with AAV gene therapy, including production and AAV biology.
  • Ability to design and improve the development of high quality AAV libraries with high complexity that are useful for selection campaigns in both small and large animals.
  • Experience in the isolation of AAV variants with novel tropism in in vivo models.
  • Substantive experience in cutting edge NGS data acquisition and analysis.
  • Experience in the use of 2D and 3D in vitro models of specific tissues to isolate and/or test the putative tropism of AAV variants in humans (desired).
  • Track record of performing technology assessments and due diligence efforts in an industry setting is highly preferred.


45% of time- Actively collaborate with the therapeutic areas and contribute to the development of specific capsid engineering programs from conceptual stages through proof-of-technical principle. Mentor and develop staff. Ensure individual goals and objectives are aligned to departmental and organizational goals and objectives.

30% of time- Mentor and develop the staff of the team in proper experimental design, robust data collection and analysis. Support members of the team in identifying and rigorously validating new technologies or approaches to isolate AAV variants with improved/altered tropism. Assist the team in designing and trouble-shooting experiments based on personal experience and literature review. Prepare and deliver scientific presentations at internal and external meetings.

5% of time- Prepare study reports.

10% of time- Prioritize projects, plan workload, manage resource and personnel scheduling.

10% of time- Bench side training of scientists in specialized techniques and/or methodology harmonization within Discovery.

  • Ph.D. in relevant scientific discipline (e.g. gene therapy, virology, cell, molecular, or synthetic biology, biochemistry, etc.).
  • Typically has 8+ years of hands-on experience in the field of gene therapy.
  • 2+ years of management or supervisory experience; experience in is desirable.

Key Skills, Abilities, and Competencies
  • Hands-on research experience, with AAV-based gene therapies.
  • Experience in NGS (preferably in single cells).
  • Experience in machine learning is a plus.
  • Strong organizational skills, including use of electronic notebooks.
  • Experience with studies in laboratory animals.
  • Familiarity with translational research.
  • Excellent communication skills (both oral and written).
  • Previous management experience required.
  • Strong analytical skills and problem-solving capabilities.
  • Strong publication record is a plus.
  • Experience managing external collaborations is a plus.

Please be aware that Spark mandates COVID-19 vaccination of all employees regardless of work location. Accommodations may be made in accordance with applicable law.

Spark Therapeutics does not accept unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles from any source other than directly from candidates. Any unsolicited resume/candidate profile submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Spark Therapeutics are considered property of Spark Therapeutics and are not subject to payment of agency fees.

Nearest Major Market: Philadelphia

Join the Spark Team

We were born of innovation, springing from the curiosity, imagination and dedication of remarkable scientists and healthcare visionaries. Our shared mission is to challenge the inevitability of genetic disease by discovering, developing, and delivering treatments in ways unimaginable - until now.

We don't follow footsteps. We create the path.

Learn more about Spark Therapeutics and view other openings.

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